Multiple wins if Mayor Villaraigosa succeeds with accelerated transit plan

A train stopping at a station well-planted with treesA shout out to LA Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa for carrying a visionary plan to Washington DC this week that could jumpstart LA's economy while accelerating our sustainability.

He's traveled to Congress to gather support for his "30-10" plan to accelerate construction of the 12 mass transit projects funded by LA's voter-approved Measure R. This measure was passed in 2008 to increase sales tax by a half cent over the next 30 years to build an electric rail system in our traffic-gridlocked city.

The Mayor's request to Washington: give us (federal deficit-neutral) loans to get all 12 projects built in 10 years, instead of 30.

Getting the system built now is a multiple win. By avoiding the costs of waiting, it will save an estimated $4 billion. By creating approximately 150,000 jobs, it will jumpstart LA's economy. It's taking a major step in reducing America's dependence on foreign oil, and getting cars off our roads is a win for clean air and reducing the health costs we suffer from air pollution, as well as a major step towards mitigating climate change.

When citizens take the initiative to tax themselves as they did with Measure R, it's a clear statement they want to get something done. The federal government should jump straight in to validate citizen action and help speed their goals.

Mayor Villairagosa: We're behind you.

Here's some more background from the Washington Post.